Working On It

On my days off, Dylan and I put up the 4 end rafters:


Getting the front two up was aggravating because I didn’t plan ahead and ended up having less than a foot of space to hammer the L brackets:


See all the dents?

But it’s so satisfying when you get a nail in! There are about 250 nails in the rafters, all hammered in by hand, each nail taking 3-20+ hits at all the weird angles.


Then we pulled out all the plywood out of the trailer, where it had been stored on my not-fully-dry subfloor all winter…


Not looking good…


But! Those were the only two pieces that were that bad, one meant for the walls and one meant for the roof. The rest are fine and usable, with only a few barely damp spots. And I believe I ordered one extra of each, so I should still be able to sheath the house without buying more plywood. Phew.

With help, I cut 12 identical pieces for along the top of the walls:


I measured, cut notches out for the rafters, and tested each piece by myself, some of them taking 7 or 8 trips up the ladder to get exactly right. When I got to the 3rd last piece,  I noticed the spot where the final piece would go:


Oops, I needed a bigger piece than what I had already cut. I had forgotten about that. 😛 So I finished 11/12 pieces for around the top and called it a day.


These pieces took hours!

I was done in time to see sunset from the loft:





Rain and Rafters

I spoke too soon about my floor not getting rained on. The same night that we tarped the house, the wind was terrible and I woke up to a tarp split in two! My 28′ tarp ripped down the middle, lengthwise along the ridge beam, possibly from catching on a nail. My second tarp of the same size is still covering the floor, but it’s a flat surface with no where for water to go. When it rains, the water just sits until it finds its way underneath and my floor gets wet anyway.

And as usual, it’s sunny on the days I work and raining whenever I have days off, but that’s not stopping me this year.

This weekend, I cut the rest of the rafters to length:


I traced the birdmouth onto each one, having decided not to mess with my original, and Dylan nailed some more metal rafter ties to the top of the walls. Then we swapped, and he cut out all the birdmouths for me while I finished adding all the metal pieces. He did a great job, and I’m glad I didn’t have to do anymore of the birdmouths. 🙂



The last five had to wait because the jigsaw was overheating. Dylan also added the L brackets to the ends of the finished rafters so they were ready to go up.

Then the next day, I started putting up rafters while Dylan cut the last birdmouths, then we were both up there adding rafters. Yay teamwork! But I have to admit, Dylan is twice as fast as me at putting up a rafter, so he honestly did most of the work for this weekend. I have tiny, weak arms, so hammering (especially at weird angles on a ladder) is not my strong suit. You can’t use a nail gun with the metal pieces unless you have a special gun and/or tip, because if you miss the hole it’s way too dangerous, so hammering it was!

It was raining lightly the whole time we were putting these up, so we decided to do the ones on the ends later when the ladders weren’t so slippery. Other than the last few, the rafters are up and I’m so proud!




I think that I post a lot more than any other tiny house blog I’ve seen, but every little thing is an accomplishment for me. Every single step means learning something new, so it’s slow going, but I’m keeping up with where I want to be. I can’t put in 10-12 hour days like some builders, it just doesn’t happen, but I’m picking away at it and doing the best I can.

Beams & Ridge Board!

Guess who’s making it happen? Me 🙂

Thursday after work Dylan, Bob, and I leveled the trailer.



Then Friday morning before work I was out cutting my beams to length. I’m at Dylan’s using some of the tools over here, and I love the saw they have! It’s attached to a fold down table, has wheels, the whole blade slides as well as chops, and it has a laser! It’s so fun to use and I’m proud that I can confidently use it.

Dylan and I put up the loft supports and beams, so now I have a loft!



So beautiful!


I had to go to work, so securing the beams had to wait until Saturday. At my engineer’s recommendation, all the beams are resting on the horizontal 2x4s. The 2x4s are nailed to the studs, and the 4×4 beams are attached to the studs with nails in from the side:


However, some of the studs had other studs right next to them so I wasn’t able to fit the nail gun or even a hammer in between. Dylan and I attached those beams with L brackets on the top and bottom, similar to how we attached the front porch post.

The last beam, closest to the wall, is only a 2×4. The way, I was able to nail it into the studs of the back wall, and the last beam is what will support the ends of my flooring up there.

I chose 4x4s instead of 2x6s (which both support about the same weight) partly for the look, and to save 2″ of headroom. 🙂

Walking underneath the beams gives me plenty of headroom and doesn’t feel cramped. It just seems cozy and protects me from the wind and sun. It’s truly becoming a shelter. ❤ Sometimes though, walking on the 6″ high stack of plywood that I still have in the house, I felt the need to duck, so it is a low ceiling for anyone taller than me. But we did have people over who are 6′ tall and they felt comfortable. So that’s good! The only thing to worry about now is the door, which is several inches shorter.

Being up in the loft is dreamy. Saturday was pretty sunny after some morning rain, and Sunday has been rainy-sunny-rainy-sunny all day, but I got the chance to sit up there and look at some fluffy white clouds in a bright blue sky. 😀


I never want to get down!

On Saturday, after securing the beams, Dylan and I did what we could to prepare for the ridge board. He made a temporary piece for the porch, which I should’ve done ages ago:


It’s not a work day without Tim’s 🙂

We nailed on some metal pieces at the top of the walls that the rafters would fit into, and I added some temporary nails at the peaks:


These nails are to prevent the ridge board from falling to one side.

I had planned to get the ridge board up on Saturday, but my helpers were busy and it was getting late (we got a late start because of the rain), so it got pushed to Sunday. I also decided to buy more L brackets to connect the rafters to the ridge board instead of toenailing them, which meant I had to wait until stores open at noon on Sunday.

Oh, and I bought my own jigsaw:


It wasn’t on sale, but I had enough Canadian Tire points that it only cost me $10. 🙂

By the time I got back from the hardware store at 12:30ish, Dylan had wrangled some hungover teenagers to help. 😛

Putting the board up wasn’t difficult, and as expected, just required a lot of holding while securing the rafters. I purposely only made 8 rafters in case my angles were a little off (so I could improve on the next set) but they lined up pretty well! Phew! The birdmouths have a bit of a gap vertically, but that might just be that the ridge board isn’t pushed as high as it should be in the middle, and that will get ironed out as I add more rafters. So, tada, I have a roof! At least, the start of one:




For the first time, I was able to tarp the house properly over the top:



Sitting up there, I know I made the right decisions about headroom. It feels so spacious, even on the sides! I have already hit my head once though. 😛



It’s not pretty but it’s covered!

Now I can enjoy the rain again, knowing my floor isn’t getting rained on. 🙂

I’ve had such a lovely and productive weekend off. I’ve learned:

1. to always assume that what you want to get done in a day is going to get pushed to the next day and…

2. it’s better to work for a few hours every day than try to get everything done all in one long day. Little steps!

And I even managed to go camping on Friday night with friends. It’s all about balance. 🙂

Until next time! ❤

The Long Update

A lot has happened since the end of October. I haven’t been blogging because I was more focused on getting as much physical work done as I could before winter.

I, with help from friends, got the last few sheets of the first level of plywood up:


This is the far side.



Even though I’m not anywhere near where I’d hoped I would be by now, it’s still amazing to see the progress that I’m making. I imagined this and now I’m making it real! It used to be just a drawing, then it was a custom trailer, then I had it insulated, added a sub-floor, designed and built my own walls, and then added sheets of wood that are bigger than me onto the outside! It might be a tiny house, but it’s a pretty big deal to me.

One of the main reasons I haven’t been blogging or working on the house recently is because I got a second job at the end of October, so I’ve been busy making money.

I did manage to get out a couple of times, to add the plywood in the pictures above, and to work on my rafters some more:




I only made 4 pairs of rafters to support the ridge board when it first goes up. That way, if I made them a little off, then I can make an improved template to make the rest from, rather than having every single rafter be less than ideal.

I bought a fancy ladder and a sander, both on sale 🙂


My very own sander 🙂

The revised plan was to sand my beams for the loft, get those in, get some rafters and the ridge board up, get some plywood on the roof, and tarp the house really well for winter. But the temperature was dropping fast, and with me working 6 days a week and having it rain on my only day off, things weren’t looking good…

Then I found a warehouse to store my house for the winter! That took a thousand pounds of stress off my chest. For $75 a month, I’ll have peace of mind knowing that winter won’t be destroying my little house, and I’ll be able to take a much-needed break.

But there was still work to be done. I had my siding delivered:



Then I finally got an email saying my windows were in, 5 weeks after they had told me it would take 3 or less. I was not impressed, and neither were any of my friends. So Dylan, his brother Dan, his brother’s girlfriend Tasha, and I all went up to the building store with the van and the truck, ready to pick up my windows and maybe do some yelling.

The whole window order has been stressing me out since I found out they weren’t ordered in August like I wanted. It means that despite spending thousands of dollars at their store on lumber and plywood, I wasn’t taken seriously. Altogether I’ve waited 11 weeks for my windows. They wouldn’t have made a contractor wait that long, and they would’ve been much more accommodating. Other tiny house builders, usually couples, talk about how they’ve made friends at the building stores and how everyone knows them there so that’s what I expected. Despite some warning signs on my first few trips to hardware stores, I wasn’t prepared for how I’ve been treated. It’s frustrating and I dread going to the building store. People were telling me to take Dylan or his dad or someone with me, and it makes me angry that I don’t get taken seriously on my own. I’m a paying customer and I should be taken seriously regardless of being young and female. So I won’t be spending my money at that building store anymore.

But I had to get my windows, so we all went in, and found out that my skylights weren’t in. That was part of my window order and I was not happy. Then Dan piped up and asked where the hell our discount was, and the guy totally tried to get out of it. Then I stepped up and reminded him that I waited 6 weeks the first time, which he also tried to get out by saying I never actually confirmed the order, but I know I told him I wanted them ordered and wanted to pay for them. But I waved him off and continued, telling him that then he told me they would be three weeks or less FIVE weeks ago. He was quick to deny that, saying it had only been four, and I told him they were still late and he had messed up my timeline. I couldn’t have siding put up so I was losing out on a deal on that, and I was having to store my project because I didn’t have windows in. He grumbled and gave me a teeny 5% off, saying there’s not much he can do on custom windows, which I can understand. I saved about $100 and I was happy to get anything off. Plus he offered to store the windows, which made things easier for me.

As for the skylights, he had to “check on those”. He mumbled something about a plant closing for two weeks, but I couldn’t care less if a plant closed, my skylights are stock windows, not custom, and they were only supposed to take 3-4 days. He told me they’d be ready in 3-4 days, implying to me that he hadn’t even ordered them at all. I was at a loss for words I was so angry.

Then a different guy, who I ordered my door from, came around the corner and said my door was in. I ordered the door around the same time I re-ordered my windows, but he told me it would take 6 weeks, so I was happily surprised to get it a week early. That’s how you should do business. Don’t tell people it’s going to take 3 weeks when it will take more, ’cause they’ll be mad. Anyways, here are the pictures:


They look so tiny! But at least they’re proportional.

I’m a little disappointed with my entrance window, because it was supposed to be 6″ taller, but it was my mistake. I framed it wrong and since I had to re-order my windows, I decided to stick with the mistake and changed the window size on the order instead of cutting apart my wall. But I’m sure I’ll like it when I’m done. Maybe I’ll put a cute little shelf over the window where that extra six inches of glass was supposed to be.


A custom tiny door!

I was worried about the door, because I wanted a window but I also wanted the paneling. This is what they made and I’m happy with it 🙂 It’s a really short door to fit under the loft, but it’s a standard width.

Then we had to get ready to get the house on the road. I’d already arranged for a friend of a friend who’s a professional at towing trailers to move the house on my one day off. Dylan and I moved all of my materials into the house for storage to free up the garage for the winter:



Then the guy tried to back out at the last minute saying he was busy, despite the fact that I’m paying him, but we put pressure on him and he showed up.

I had the ridge board and rafters ready to go, but left them off. They would’ve added more height and it wouldn’t have been that strong without all of the rafters in.

Getting the trailer onto the hitch was a little upsetting to watch, especially since there was water pouring out the end of the trailer somehow (the sub-floor plus rain is a whole ‘nother story):



Tiny house on the move!


Tiny house on the road!


I didn’t plan on moving the house until it was done, but here it is!


Tiny house in a warehouse 🙂

The professional driver – who I paid $100 to move the house safely – pinched the wire on the light harness while jack-knifing into the warehouse, so I’m not very happy about that. The lights still work though.

It’s a good thing the ridge board wasn’t up, because it might not have made it through the warehouse door! Thankfully everything worked out.



All tucked in for winter.

So after six months of stress and learning, I’m going to snuggle in and enjoy my winter. I’ll still be doing some research, working on my steps list, and posting on here occasionally, but I’ll also be taking the time to get back to my little personal projects and hobbies that got pushed aside this summer.

Oh, and we got the tiny house stored just in time. We had a rainstorm and over 50mm of rainfall the weekend after moving the house, then right after that, it snowed and the ground stayed white for a little while. The temperature went up again, but winter is coming…


Here are some pictures of the emptiness the house left behind:




Ta ta for now.

“I was supposed to order those?”

Today after work I went in to order my front door, which I’ve been waiting to order. I’ve gotten a couple door quotes in the past, but wanted to wait until my framing was up and I had an exact size. Plus I needed to figure out how to seal and trim it with the side wall of the bump-out and the underside of the storage loft being so close to the opening. After some research and getting distracted by pretty flooring, I went in to the same place I ordered my windows from. There was another store that quoted me $10 cheaper, but then never got back to me about it. I can do my own follow-up and call them, sure, but it’s frustrating when people who theoretically want business don’t call me back.

Anyways, I went in, talked to someone I haven’t talked to before, had a nice chat about tiny houses, and left with a more expensive quote, unfortunately. But the guy has to call the company about a few things and said he’d try to get the price lower.

Then I went and talked to the guy I ordered my windows from. I ordered them in the middle of August. They were supposed to take three weeks but I haven’t gotten a call yet saying they’re in. He had told me I didn’t have to pay for them until I was ready to pick them up, and that they’d be there waiting whenever I was ready to install them. But apparently, our wires got crossed and he didn’t realize he was supposed to order them. He said he never heard back from me, but I went in twice. Once to get a rough estimate, and then in August to finalize and order them.

But on the bright side, I realized two mistakes in my framing and was able to adjust the windows before he actually ordered them. My entrance window was supposed to be taller, but when I was framing it, I made it six inches shorter. I’m okay with that, so I changed the size on the order. As I double-checked the rough-openings, I realized I had made my bathroom rough opening an inch too small, and I was already getting the smallest possible width. So I had him make that one a half inch wider. That way I can cut out the jack stud, turn the king stud next to it into a jack stud, and add in a new king stud. So now that’s fixable. Good thing there’s no plywood there yet.

I worked on my rafter template and thought I had it pretty accurate, but I think I’ve been going about making the rafters the wrong way. I’ve been trying to follow the exact math from a rafter calculator that helped me make my rake walls, but the saw could be off, and the walls might have turned out a little differently. I should be making my rafters to fit the house, not the math.

I kind of wish I had easy 45 degree angles to work with, but that’s not the roof line I want. Any work I put into making my weird rafters will be worth it as I enjoy my spacious loft and 10′ ceiling. I also don’t have to worry about dormers or valleys in my roof.

Now I have 3 weeks until my windows come in (or less; he said he’d put a rush on them because it was his mistake). And there’s 3 and half weeks until the end of October, so I plan to have lots done by then! I dislike the cold, so I want to snuggle inside a warm house with a closed-in tiny house sitting outside, before I freeze my fingers off. I’m jealous of builders in California and Las Vegas that can build year-round; the seasons are stressing me out!

I do all my work at the last minute, so why did I expect the build to be different? 😛

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